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Tunstall helps Milton Keynes PCT launch COPD telehealth service

Tunstall Group : 18 June, 2007  (New Product)
Tunstall is supporting Milton Keynes Primary Care Trust (PCT) and Milton Keynes Community Alarm Service to launch a pioneering telehealth initiative to reduce avoidable hospital admissions and enable people to better manage long-term conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) at home.
The initiative will enable people to better manage long-term conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) at home.

Milton Keynes has a high prevalence of COPD in its local population, costing the PCT over 450,000 a year to treat emergency admissions.

Since launching the Telehealth service, 26 hospital admissions have been prevented in just four months, reducing the burden on acute, primary and community sectors.

Genesis monitors from Tunstall were provided to patients with COPD to support a more proactive and preventative model of care.

The monitor lets patients measure their own vital signs such as heart rate, weight, blood pressure and oxygen levels, and also asks a range of clinical questions to further determine a patient's condition.

As a result, if patients with COPD experience a change in their health status, proactive medical intervention can be taken at an early stage.

Clinical results are monitored by Milton Keynes Community Alarm Service's Telecare team and nursing staff are notified if assistance is required, ensuring early intervention and avoiding hospital admission.

A key benefit of the initiative is educating users to be more aware of their own symptom's and to proactively manage them, helping to reduce some of the burden on healthcare providers.

Fatima Holt, RGN for the District Nurse team within Milton Keynes PCT said, 'The Telehealth pilot is a revolution in care for my COPD patients'.

'Historically these types of patients presented themselves to us in very acute stages of their care'.

'It was not uncommon for them to begin feeling ill, allow this to develop for three or four days then contact us when they were in a very serious condition'.

'In the majority of these cases we had to admit these patients into hospital'.

'We have now transformed this situation and because of the Telehealth monitors we are able to see the start of an exacerbation in the early stages and take appropriate proactive care'.

'I am convinced we need to roll this out into all our chronic disease areas.'
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